New year begins with icy Polar Bear Dip

It will be a cold start to the new year at the 30th Annual Polar Bear Dip on Jan. 1.

It will be a cold start to the new year at the 30th Annual Polar Bear Dip on Jan. 1.

The icy swim begins at noon and between 100 and 150 swimmers are expected to dash into the water at Sunoka Beach at noon. Most will be in the cold water for a matter of seconds before drying off and warming up at a fire. Mike Petkau, president of the Summerland Kinsmen Club, said the event has become a popular tradition for Summerlanders.

“Its a great way for the family to come out to welcome in the new year,” Petkau said.

As in past years, the Kinsmen Club will award a prize to the swimmer in the best costume. He added that the chilly swim is a fundraiser for Summerland Kinsmen Club. Money raised will go to local families, parks and club projects. Hot chocolate and hot dogs will be available for participants and spectators by donation.